The hills might have eyes, but no more than the 32 front offices around the NFL. They see everything with a helmet. And keep tabs on every quarterback with a pulse.
So when the Philadelphia Eagles made the innocent (and logical) switch from Joe Flacco to Gardner Minshew at the backup spot, people noticed and started digging through old scouting reports. They weren’t evaluating Minshew, though. They were dusting off college highlights of Jalen Hurts. Some rival general managers want to be ready in case the Eagles decide to bench Hurts before the end of the season.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Hurts could have a small contingent of suitors if Minshew steals his job. Scouts liked the Heisman Trophy runner-up coming out of college, save concerns about his accuracy and arm strength – and the early returns on Hurts haven’t been all bad. Fowler wrote the following:
Some teams around the league are keeping an eye on Philadelphia’s quarterback situation – and whether Gardner Minshew gets a shot eventually. The consensus is the Eagles continue to stay with Jalen Hurts in the short term. But if the slide continues, coach Nick Sirianni might not have a choice.
Hurts ranks 26th in QBR at 38.8. The quarterbacks behind him are either rookies or veterans who have had tenuous rides in the NFC West (Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff). Scouts like Hurts but questioned whether he could get it done over a full season. Will he get a full season to help them find out?
Reality check: it wouldn’t make sense for Philly to get rid of Hurts. For starters, he’s the only other experienced quarterback on the roster. And, secondly, Hurts has the respect and admiration of the young guys on the team. Cutting ties with him could set off a locker room mutiny. Head coach Nick Sirianni is not wading into that cesspool – at least not after seven up-and-down weeks.
“It comes down to the one thing I’ve always said and that’s executing,” Hurts said, “And doing that and believing that. And I think every player on this team believes in that and in this team and even the coaches, too, so it’s just putting it together.”
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Deshaun Watson Off Eagles’ Radar
One name you can check off Howie Roseman’s wish list is Deshaun Watson. The embattled star has only waived his no-trade clause for the Miami Dolphins (per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport), thus ruling out the Eagles and every other team interested. Watson’s legal issues – 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints – are the last remaining hurdle in a potential deal to Miami.
The NFL’s investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct don’t pose a major threat to Watson’s playing status, per CBS Sports. Barring a last-minute “material change,” the three-time Pro Bowler will be kept off the Commissioner Exempt list. All these things are subject to change, but right now he would be locked in as QB1 following any trade.
Teams Calling About Andre Dillard
Andre Dillard proved to be a valuable insurance policy when Jordan Mailata went down. The backup left tackle filled in admirably at left tackle for four games and stayed there when Mailata returned. The big Aussie moved over to right tackle with Lane Johnson out. Now Dillard is back on the bench and the trade winds are blowing again.
His value has never been higher. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, teams have started calling about Dillard’s availability. The asking price so far as been a “quality second-day pick” but that could change if more injuries hit the Eagles’ offensive line.